Population growth

 Chart 2 Growth rate (%) between 1996 and 2006, by Aboriginal identity

Growth rate of population is much higher for Aboriginal peoples

Between 1996 and 2006 the Aboriginal population grew at a much faster rate than the non-Aboriginal population at 45% and 8% respectively. The Métis had the highest growth rate of all Aboriginal identity groups with their population nearly doubling between 1996 and 2006. The First Nations population grew by 29% while the Inuit population grew by 26%. The growth rates for each of the Aboriginal identity groups were much higher than that of the non-Aboriginal population at 8% from 1996 to 2006.

Projections suggest that the Aboriginal population could increase to approximately 1.4 million by 2017 from 1.1 million in 2006. The proportion of the Canadian population that identify themselves as Aboriginal is projected to increase to 4% in 2017 from 3% in 2001.1

There are several factors that can contribute to the higher growth rate for Aboriginal peoples, such as higher fertility rates. There is also an increasing tendency for people to identify themselves as Aboriginal in recent years which also contributes to this faster growth.

Related data:

Census highlight tables provide population counts for Aboriginal identity for Canada, as well as provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations and census subdivisions.


  1. Statistics Canada, Projections of the Aboriginal populations, Canada, Provinces and Territories.